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What are some literary terms used in Chapter 5 in Of Mice and Men?Can you give me the...

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horsecrazy2196 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 21, 2010 at 12:10 AM via web

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What are some literary terms used in Chapter 5 in Of Mice and Men?

Can you give me the literary term and what page it is on?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 21, 2010 at 6:33 AM (Answer #1)

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I think you may be asking about literary devices which can be found in Chapter 5, as opposed to literary terms; the terms are the words that describe the devices. There are any number of literary devices used in the chapter, and I will note here only a few, explaining the terms and pointing to the devices as examples.

Personification is a literary device whereby inanimate objects are endowed with human characteristics. Some examples are,

"The afternoon sun sliced in through the cracks of the barn walls...",

and

"...the lazy afternoon humming."

Both of these examples can be found in the second paragraph of Chapter 5; "slicing" and "humming" are things humans can do, but they are attributed to the sun and the afternoon, which cannot do either of these things.

Imagery is the formation of mental pictures through words. An example of imagery occurs in the tenth paragraph of Chapter 5, in the description of Curley's wife. The author says,

"She wore her bright cotton dress and the mules with the red ostrich feathers. Her face was made up and the little sausage curls were all in place."

Juxtaposition is a literary term which describes when an author puts two images side by side to emphasize their likenesses or differences. An example of juxtaposition occurs about halfway through Chapter 5, when Lennie is talking to Curley's wife. Curley's wife is explaining about her lost dreams, while Lennie describes the dream he and George hope to achieve. Curley's wife says,

"...a show come through, an' I met one of the actors. He says I could go with that show. But my ol' lady wouldn't let me...If I'd went, I wouldn't be livin' like this, you bet."

Lennie, lost in his own thoughts, responds,

"We gonna have a little place - an' rabbits."

Curley's wife goes on with her own story, concluding,

"Coulda been in the movies, an' had nice clothes - all them nice clothes like they wear."

The juxtaposition of Lennie's and Curley's wife's dreams, both so similar and filled with longing, allows the reader to see their likenesses, and foreshadows that Lennie's dream of having a place of his own with George is as futile and hopeless as Curley's wife's dream of being in the movies and having a rich and glamorous life. Foreshadowing, which describes a device in which the author hints at something that will happen later in the story, is another literary term. 

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